Cape Town caper

DECCAN CHRONICLE | LISA RAY
Published Jul 5, 2015, 5:49 am IST
Updated Mar 28, 2019, 4:00 pm IST
lisa ray chronicles the best of what cape town and hermanus have to offer, for those willing to go off the beaten path
Mandela Glasses
 Mandela Glasses

lisa ray chronicles the best of what cape town and hermanus have to offer, for those willing to go off the beaten path

There are few things in the world that absolutely cannot be missed. And Cape Town — South Africa’s majestic port city — sits right on top of the list. It offers limitless options for every type of traveller. But if you don’t want to be “just another brick in the wall”, check out these eight things nestled in Cape Town, and specifically at the charming town of Hermanus, which the uninitiated will certainly miss. These hidden gems are the product of numerous exploration missions by yours truly. Handpicked, tried and tested, the locations are for the vacationer who wants to go off the beaten path.

Dutchies at Grotto Beach: Grotto Beach is famous for its perfect beaches and land-based whale-watching. But if your tummy is yearning for glorious sea-food, get yourself to Dutchies. On request they will even drape you in a nautical white and blue blanket while serving heavenly portions of local kingflip and calamari.

Watershed: Located at the waterfront, Watershed is THE place to do some urbane shopping. Featuring works by local artisans, crafters and designers, it not only serves as a unique shopping destination, but also provides treatments for the mind, body and soul. Get bowed down by shopping bags or unwind at a relaxing spa, it’s your choice.

Mandela Glasses: Among the offbeat tributes to the great man, artist Michael Elion has created a pair of giant glasses made of stainless steel, peering over the sea to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for nearly three decades. Called Perceiving Freedom, the work is meant to make people reflect on Mandela’s time on the island. And yeah, don’t forget to take a selfie with the giant wayfarers!

Nobel Square: True to its name, Nobel Square plays host to South Africa’s four Nobel Peace Laureates: the late Chief Albert Luthuli, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and former presidents Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk. The bronze statues are quite impressive and each one has a quote chosen by the Laureate.

Harbour House Hotel: One of the best places to stay in Hermanus, Harbour House offers a stunning view of the sea. Luxurious to a fault and decorated very tastefully, the hotel is the perfect place to rest for the intrepid traveller. Remember to have a photo session at the Lookout Terrace which overlooks the ocean.

Hiking along the Cliff Path: The best (or worst) thing about this nature hike is that it will make you want to not go home. One will experience certain sense of overwhelming gratitude because of the beauty in front of them.  Stunningly beautiful, at every other step, nature jumps out at you and never lets go.

The Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock: It is an area revived by artists. The Old Biscuit Mill is a converted mill with artists’ studios and Espresso Lab for great coffee and The Test Kitchen is one of Cape Town’s coolest restaurants.

Zip lining at Silvermist Vineyard: Another must do when in South Africa is Africa’s longest zipline at Silvermist Vineyard in Constantia. South Africa Forest Adventure is a company that can organise adventure seeking activities like zip lining and rafting.     

    Lisa Ray is an actress

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